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Thread: How far should I go to save a quilt??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    How far should I go to save a quilt??

    Well at my BILs we got down to the quilts he was going to throw away. We discovered three of the quilts had a top tied on top of another quilt. Apparently done in the 30s to use them a little longer. The "new tops" were in shreds showing a pieced quilt underneath but you couldn't really see it. My Dh and I talked it over and decided to see what the original quilt was underneath the shredded tied top since they had been thrown away. One is defiantly gone. The most I could save would be a few VERY faded blocks. On another, the top and bottom border can be folded over on itself to save the main body which is in fairly good condition - not usable or washable but can be displayed if aired out. I have decided to try and save it. On the other. Do I cut it to save what I can or give up and let it go?

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The first cut is the hardest. I am cutting up a quilt my GM made just for me in the 50s. I used it until it was extremely shabby, then my children used it when they were home sick. I am framing a piece for each of and not worrying about the remainder - if there is any left after doing 6 large pictures. BTW, Grandma was happy I ruined it. She wanted it to be used. I was more protective of the one she made me to replace it and it is in great shape.

    Use any parts you can for framing or pillows, pincushions, etc, and then let the rest go. They have served their purpose. Not a popular attitude I know, but it's how I feel.

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    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    The first cut is the hardest. I am cutting up a quilt my GM made just for me in the 50s. I used it until it was extremely shabby, then my children used it when they were home sick. I am framing a piece for each of and not worrying about the remainder - if there is any left after doing 6 large pictures. BTW, Grandma was happy I ruined it. She wanted it to be used. I was more protective of the one she made me to replace it and it is in great shape.

    Use any parts you can for framing or pillows, pincushions, etc, and then let the rest go. They have served their purpose. Not a popular attitude I know, but it's how I feel.

    I couldn't agree more! My daughter had a quilt that was very special to her - when it became obvious it was no longer 'usable', she cut a section and framed it. She sees it every day and loves it.

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    If the quilt is beautiful, the colors just sing and the pattern outstanding, then save what you can. If it is ordinary, as it sounds it is since it has already been deemed as worth only to be used to save on batting costs, why waste the effort on what was evidently just everyday bedding? The women who made quilts as their bedding back in the 1800's and early 1900's were very practical. Everyday bedding made to keep you warm and stacked as many as needed on a bed were used under the one that was made to be pretty and shown, or under a hand woven wool coverlet. My grandmother made many everyday quilts in the 1800's, piecing them on a treadle, quilting them by hand, using feedsacks and some left over clothing. They went under a pretty quilt and she would have been EMBARRASSED to have had them on display. They were made quickly for warmth, for utility. Every wife did this. The pretty ones were very, very pretty and you definitely never comfused the two. I don't think that the woman who made a utility quilt, if that is what you have, would want you to go to an effort t o save it. It has had it's life span.

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    I like this attitude.

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    Senior Member TinkerQuilts's Avatar
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    Sounds like these quilts were meant to be used, and I imagine the quilter would be happy to know that some pieces were preserved.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    If the quilt is beautiful, the colors just sing and the pattern outstanding, then save what you can. If it is ordinary, as it sounds it is since it has already been deemed as worth only to be used to save on batting costs, why waste the effort on what was evidently just everyday bedding? The women who made quilts as their bedding back in the 1800's and early 1900's were very practical. Everyday bedding made to keep you warm and stacked as many as needed on a bed were used under the one that was made to be pretty and shown, or under a hand woven wool coverlet. My grandmother made many everyday quilts in the 1800's, piecing them on a treadle, quilting them by hand, using feedsacks and some left over clothing. They went under a pretty quilt and she would have been EMBARRASSED to have had them on display. They were made quickly for warmth, for utility. Every wife did this. The pretty ones were very, very pretty and you definitely never comfused the two. I don't think that the woman who made a utility quilt, if that is what you have, would want you to go to an effort t o save it. It has had it's life span.
    I think you may be right!! This one has definitely lived its life. It is terribly faded- you can hardly see the pattern though there is one. I might be able to save two pieces the size of table runners but that would be it! Just seems o sad!

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    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Perhaps a lovingly framed photograph - which often shows less of the real damage anyway - would be a better memorial to this quilt.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    It's not sad. It means the quilt was used and loved, not stored away. My The Redeye machine my son purchased for me is rather worn. The vintage machine quilting board helped me convince him that means she was used and loved, not just for show. Your quilts are the same. Make the table runners and let the rest go.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Perhaps a lovingly framed photograph - which often shows less of the real damage anyway - would be a better memorial to this quilt.

    Jan in VA
    I like this idea!!

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